Barbara Mistick


National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU)

Barbara Mistick, who has led NAICU as president since 2019, is passionate about the independent sector of higher education and committed to increasing access for all students. She and the NAICU team work closely with Congress, the executive branch, and the independent sector of higher education to develop policies that best serve our nation’s learners.

She helped organize the higher education community and led efforts to double the Pell Grant award. The initiative secured down payment increases of $400 and $500 in the last two federal budgets, the largest increases since 2009. Mistick also spearheaded the development of NAICU’s national economic impact study. The study, updated in 2024, found that the independent sector of higher education generates $652 billion in economic impact, $99 billion in local, state, and federal tax revenue, and supports 3.4 million jobs.

During the course of her career, Mistick has been a leader at institutions such as Wilson College, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the H.J. Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University, and the National Education Center for Women in Business at Seton Hill University. Her book, Stretch: How to Future-Proof Yourself for Tomorrow’s Workplace, was designated as an Amazon Editor’s Pick. Mistick is a graduate of Carlow University and the University of Pittsburgh, and earned a doctor of business administration from Case Western Reserve University.